Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus unveiled, but why?

Samsung has just announced an amazing, great new phone — the Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus! Wait, what?! That’s right, we’re in 2013 and Samsung is releasing a refresh to a 2011 smartphone. The “Plus” edition of Samsung’s second flagship device houses a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a 4.3 inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, an 8 megapixel HD camera with a 2 megapixel companion on the front.

Aside from coming with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box we’re left wondering what’s so “Plus” about it. The original Samsung Galaxy S2 came with 16GB of internal storage, and it has since received an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. So what, exactly, is Samsung trying to do with this release?

The phone could pass as a nice budget offering in this day and age, but there’s not much to gain over getting the i9100 online for around $200 on eBay or other sites. It will be a decent option for carriers wanting to provide a Galaxy S2 with Jelly Bean pre-installed instead of updating their original models to the relatively new version of Android, but I think I speak for the masses when I say most would just prefer the original models be upgraded in a timely fashion.

There’s no pricing and availability for this particular release just yet, but considering how cheap a Galaxy S3 can be had on contract these days we imagine this won’t be on many folks’ radar. I’m having trouble trying to make sense of all this, so please be my guest and leave us a note in the comments section if you can come up with a reason why releasing this phone at this point would be a good idea. Read on for full press details.

Seoul, Korea – January 10, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced today Samsung GALAXY S II Plus, which combines the performance that have made the GALAXY S II one of the world’s most recognized phones, together with nature-inspired user-interface and intuitive features that greatly boost its usability and functionality.
• The GALAXY S II Plus runs on Android™ 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) enabling faster and smoother screen transitions, and
  providing an enhanced user interface featuring a new, easier-to-use notification panel. It is powered by an impressive
 1.2 GHz dual core processor that enables easy multi-tasking, smooth screen transitions and superior graphics for
 some of the most demanding applications and games.
• The GALAXY S II Plus’ nature-inspired user-interface is complemented with intuitive features that make the phone really
  easy to use. Direct Call enables users to automatically dial a call by taking the device to the ear. Smart Stay recognizes
  whether the user is looking at the screen to dim the screen accordingly; while Smart Alert lets users know about
  missed events or status updates just by picking up the phone.
• The GALAXY S II Plus also sports a range of additional features that boost performance and the overall experience in
  entirely new ways. Popup Video allows a video to play anywhere on the screen in a resizable pop-up window while
  simultaneously running other tasks, eliminating the need to close and restart videos when checking new emails or
  surfing the Web. S Voice lets users control the phone using their voice; and Voice Unlock lets users unlock the phone
  using their own voice.
• A 4.3” WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display offers a generous viewing experience and enables photos captured with the
  powerful 8MP camera to be enjoyed in true clarity.
• The rear camera features a zero-lag shutter speed that captures moving objects easily without delay. The innovative
  ‘Buddy photo share’ function also allows images to be easily and simultaneously shared with friends pictured in an
  image directly from the camera or the photo gallery. Additional features include Group Facetag and Face Zoom to
  deliver a complete photographic experience. The device is packed with the latest Samsung content services including
  AllShare Play, which lets users share content across Samsung devices using a single account and password.
  Users can also enjoy all the benefits of Samsung Hubs, including the latest versions of Readers Hub, Video Hub,
  Game Hub and Music Hub.

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  • saabsnaab

    after scratching my head and pondering for a moment i have decided that phandroid was hacked, because this cannot be real…

  • http://twitter.com/Moo_Guy_ Javier Fernandez

    Clicking on the link, I said “Wait, what?” Reading the article, I see: “Wait, What?”

  • Anthony McKay
  • bmg314

    And in keeping with their latest trend, Tmobile has announced they will sell the Galaxy S2 Plus on contract for $349.99.

    After mail in rebate.

    O.O

    • camelsnot

      Tfumble is always behind the times.

      • itmustbejj

        Yes the first US carrier to have the Galaxy Note 2, was first in the US to launch the Galaxy S3 (technically tied with Sprint for release), let alone was the first carrier to champion Android is always behind the times. I could go on but I think I’ve already proved you are talking out your ass.

  • Chimphappyhour

    Is Samsung also announcing the T316 Plus? :P

  • Unorthodox

    Probably ridiculous battery life? Or they do it to annoy Apple?

  • Brian Menius

    It’s entirely possible I rolled right over it in the press release, but… maybe it’s an emerging markets phone? While I still don’t get it, I figure it makes more sense than releasing it in the US.

  • camelsnot

    Apple does it each year.

    • Ahhk

      Actually, Apple would have released the S2+ about a month before the S3.

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      You’ve just nailed Samsung’s business strategy…”Apple does it”

  • Raifid4

    If good price. I’ll get this unlocked model for my mother instead of the GS3 mini.

  • Tim Bass

    Wouldn’t this be a Galaxy S2 Minus? The S2 had a 4.5″ screen

    • shadowslash

      The S2 LTE variants had a 4.5, official Galaxy S2 was 4.3.

      • branon

        Is there a S2 lte variant?

        • Ben Kapferer

          Yes; AT&T sold it in the US as the Galaxy S II Skyrocket. T-Mobile and Sprint’s versions of the GSII also have 4.5″ screens.

  • http://twitter.com/Sp1tfirestarter Marius Oprisan

    Reason why they launched it is simple. Galaxy SII hasn’t received JB yet, like you wrongfully stated, and probably won’t receive it soon cause they want to sell the Plus.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      I didn’t wrongfully state anything — the Korean Galaxy S2 has indeed received Jelly Bean. It’s not North America or Europe (though Samsung is said to be working on updates for those regions), but those aren’t the only continents in the world.

      • http://twitter.com/Sp1tfirestarter Marius Oprisan

        Korean version hasn’t received it either, you are wrong again. Samsung only announced korean version will get JB, no time frame yet. So check twice before writing an article

      • nick olaguez

        Scum bags these days

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.leaf Tim Leath

    how about its for all the folk in the world who dont want (me) or cannot afford an s3 ?
    s3 is boring cloner zombie phone,how many women go for an s3 ?
    how many reasons would you like.
    or are you expecting a firm the size of samsung only to build and sell bleeding edge uber phones ? (bankruptcy)

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      That’s why I suggested finding the original i9100 on a marketplace site. It can be had for very cheap without a contract these days. I never said there wasn’t a market for inexpensive phones, but this particular release just doesn’t make much sense.

      • Crimsonshadow774

        The fact that he called the S3 a “boring cloner zombie phone” shows he is nothing more than a troll.

  • Carl Rood

    What about a more affordable option for a no-contract provider.

  • http://twitter.com/SpamStream lolwut

    Emerging markets

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    You got it all wrong, this is the Galaxy S4 disguised as the GS2 O_o

    • RozJC

      That is most definitely it. Chris, you sir, are a genius.

    • bmg314

      Samsung decided to go retro with their new flagship?

      • Lactose_the_Intolerant

        Old is the new new.

    • TheOtherGuy

      S4 being just a software update on S2? Clever!!.. they could just claim 10, 20 or 30% speed increase, and forget to mention that it came from moving to a newer version of android. They are putting Google’s words into practise: “Let Google do the heavy lifting for you.”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.leaf Tim Leath

    it may also have something to do with them already having shifted 50 million+ of the old s2,so as its still supposedly a very good phone,i remember a lot of you s3 users singing s2 praises 18 months ago,just cos its not latest phone does not mean it automaticaly becomes a crap phone.
    no,im not a sammy fan boy,i hate sammy screens and poor build quality,but i do understand basic business sense,lets keep a tag on how many s2+ they shift in next 18 months,40-50 million ?, nice little earner from where i watch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.leaf Tim Leath

    that only works in first world,80%+ of the worlds population have no access to ebay etc

  • http://twitter.com/slayerpsp S.Rambo

    Pay as you go sell for 150.00 out right that makes sense

  • Jayshmay

    For someone like me, who would prefer to stick as close to a 4.3 display as possible, this would be good.

  • Helgaiden

    Would make a great prepaid choice for the right price. Metro/tmo, straight talk, cricket, boost, virgin, whoever.

  • Mark2468

    Could be for the likes of tracfone and other mvno’s with them saying they will support smartphones with their unlimited package. This will give them a older, affordable but still decently specd phone.

    • Ben Kapferer

      Straight Talk and Net10 already have the AT&T Galaxy S II (which unfortunately has not been upgraded past firmware version 2.3).

  • Shannon

    @bmg314… no joke!

  • Crimsonshadow774

    I guess its a good phone to shitty services like Boost and Virgin Mobile. Maybe a company like that will pick it up.

  • Tony Lai

    Samsung is just trying to clear their outdated hardware inventories… nothing to see here.

  • branon

    So this has all the new features of s3 in a s2 size? If it also has LTE , I might be willing to tradeup from my s2 “regular”. I prefer the smaller screen compared to s3.

    • No_Nickname90

      The S3 Mini exist.

      • Tommy Thompson

        S3 Mini is worse than the S2 plus.

        • No_Nickname90

          Oh my… Never mind then.

  • No_Nickname90

    Fools!! If the Galaxy S2 get’s banned, they can just sell this. It’s a fool proof method to keep their devices being sold. Especially since this is a new device and not on the list of infringed devices.

    • No_Nickname90

      Also, I don’t see the plus side? That has the same specs as my Epic 4G Touch. Am I missing something?

      • Tommy Thompson

        It’s possible the processor is the S4 A15 which would help a bit, and the camera could be the one form the S3, which would also be a slight update.

        • No_Nickname90

          Hmm… I could consider this. I lyk my search button and don’t care for the form factor of the S3. I for one don’t like it. If I don’t get that Sony Xperia Z that was mentioned I’d buy this. LoL!! Guess Wii see who the customers are. LoL!!

  • phinn

    4.3″ is the perfect screen size for a phone.

    • TheOtherGuy

      But dual-core is not the perfect CPU for a phone…

      • John Wentworth

        and 800 x 480 is not the perfect resolution. I still have my S2, I only use it for work so it doesn’t matter much, it’s still a good phone for light use. But the screen res kills me after looking at my gorgeous 720p screen on my Nexus 4

        • toomuchgame441

          I’m getting the lg optimus the I can’t wait to look at that screen

  • KOLIO

    Here’s the differences between the previous model(s) & what’s being offered now, confirmed by SAMSUNG

    http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/2013/01/10/Samsung-GALAXY-S-II-Plus

    BLUETOOTH 3.0,optional NFC,improved camera, lower on-board storage but accepts 64GB SD vs 32GB SD, no LTE.
    Definitely aimed @ the pre-paid market & overseas.

  • Dan Grover

    I would be surprised if this isn’t aimed at developing markets.

  • yankeesrule587

    Looks like they remodeled it to look alot like the GS3, could cause confusion. Some sales reps might be able to pass it off as just as good as ths GS3 but cheaper, i dunno. There are quite few people that honestly wouldnt know the difference. Ive said in many posts, people are dumb and just buy things that they see in commercials or what their friends have. Apple has made a fortune off of ignorant people with no tech sense, if it works for Samsung then good for them.

  • BLADESMAN1889

    Galaxy S 3 can be had for FREE in UK & the Galaxy S 4 will also be FREE (all our phones on Contract are free)

  • john burg

    i believe that they are launching this phone out because all the other s2 phones were all different (because of the carriers) and they are launching the s2 plus because this time they control how it looks and acts……..look at the s3 for an example

  • Shawn_Locke

    This phone is for the uneducated consumer.